Modi ‘action-reaction’ statement not sufficient to make a case: SIT

Modi had allegedly said in an interview that the mob attacked Gulberg after Jafri fired at it.

The Supreme Court appointed SIT has endorsed the ‘action and reaction’ theory of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Gulberg society massacre case,saying that firing by former MP Ehsaan Jafri led to the killing of 69 people in 2002.

The SIT has given a clean chit to Modi,in a specific allegation made by Zakia Jafri,the widow of former MP Ehsaan Jafri. Zakia said Modi had made objectionable statements in an interview to a private television channel and a newspaper invoking Newton’s law of ‘action and reaction’.

The SIT has said the correspondent of a private TV channel held Modi referred to Jafri’s firing as “action” and the massacre that followed as “reaction”.

“During the interview,when questioned about the Gulberg society massacre in which former MP Ehsaan Jafri was killed along with 69 others,the CM referred to reports that Jafri had first fired at the violent mob,which provoked the mob and thereafter it stormed the housing society and set it on fire,” the SIT report said.

The SIT report further says the exact quote was,”Kriya pratikriya ke chain chal rahi hai. Hum chahte hai ke na kriya ho,aur na pratikriya (A chain of action and reaction is going on. We neither want action nor reaction).”

When the correspondent asked Modi about the widespread violence in Gujarat post-Godhra,the latter replied,”Godhra main jo purso hua,jaha par 40 mahilao aur bacho ko zinda jala diya,is main desh main aur videsh main sadma pauchna swabhavik tha. Godhra ke is ilake ke logo ki criminal tendencies rahe hai,in logo ne pehle mahila teacher ka khoon kiya and ab ye jaghanya apradh kiya hai jiski pratikriya ho rahi hai.”

(What happened in Godhra day before yesterday,where 40 women and children were burnt alive,this country and even foreign countries are shocked. People of that area of Godhra have criminal tendencies,they had earlier killed a lady teacher and now have committed this heinous crime,reaction to which are being felt).

The interview was given by Modi on March 1,2002,while the Godhra train burning incident took place on February 27,2002.

The so called utterances by Chief Minister Narendra Modi are not sufficient to make out a case against him,the SIT says in its report giving a clean chit to Modi for his statements.

In its conclusion,the SIT says,”In this connection,it is to be stated that Shri Narendra Modi has clearly stated in his interview that it was late Ehsaan Jaffi,ex-MP,who first fired at the violent mob and the provoked mob the stormed the Society and set it on fire. In this interview,he has clearly referred to Jafri’s firing as ‘action’ and the massacre that followed as ‘reaction’.

“It may be clarified here that in case Jafri fired at the mob,this could be an immediate provocation to the mob,which had assembled there to take revenge of the Godhra incident from the Muslims,” the SIT report further said.

Regarding the press statement about post-Godhra riots for citing Newton’s law,Modi said he has not given any interview to a leading English newspaper.

According to Modi,no reporter met him. Modi has vehemently denied allegations that he had justified the riots by giving action-reaction theory,the SIT report said.

He also stated it had been his opinion that violence could not be reciprocated with violence and therefore,he had appealed for peace.

The SIT has also strongly defended the chief minister against the charge,by citing its own March 2010 interrogation of Modi in which he had said: “As regards the Zee TV interview of 1-03-2002 is concerned,Shri Modi told SIT that after a period of eight years,he did not recollect the exact words but he had always appealed only and only for peace.

“He also said if his words cited in this question are considered in the correct perspective,then it would be evident that there is a very earnest appeal for people refraining from any kind of violence…”

A book,’Rights and Wrong’ published by Editor’s Guild,contained excerpts from the TV interview.

The SIT had questioned the TV correspondent and asked him for a CD of the interview. The correspondent told the SIT he did not have the CD with him but recollected what Modi had said to him.

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